Actuarial science teaches you the art of turning risks into opportunities. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms. You benefit from an excellent starting salary, with graduates earning upwards of £30,000 on average.
Our BSc Actuarial Science encourages you to delve into your passions for mathematics and practical problem-solving. Our attractive blend of solid mathematics, an understanding of real-world financial issues, and computing skills provide you with the core skills essential for entering the actuarial profession. You learn the theory and methods used by professional actuaries; on how to apply mathematical and statistical skills to minimise financial risk when the stakes are high, in areas such as commerce, government, insurance and finance.
Study topics including:
- Mathematical finance
- Financial reporting
- Contingencies, risk management and survival analysis
- Pure and applied mathematics
Professional actuaries in the insurance industry, including influential businesses AXA and Buck Consultants, contribute to our employability module and also host students at their offices to show them typical challenges that actuaries face.
As part of our Department of Mathematical Sciences, you’re a member of an inclusive and approachable research community which allows you to explore topics in pure, high-level mathematics and applied mathematics.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and the placements team.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
As well as being world-class academics, our staff are award-winning teachers. Many of our academics have won national or regional awards for lecturing, and many of them are qualified and accredited teachers – something which is very rare at a university.
Teaching on our course are expert academics conducting internationally excellent multidisciplinary research, with significant multi-year experience in consulting and practicing actuarial science. The key departmental staff for our BA Actuarial Science are Dr Spyridon Vrontos (specialising in actuarial and financial data science, predictive modelling and predictability), Dr Junlei Hu (reinsurance and optimal risk transfer), Dr Jackie Wong (Bayesian methods and survival analysis), Dr Tolulope Fadina (mathematical finance) and Dr Peng Liu (applied probability in actuarial science and queueing systems).
Dr Vrontos specialises in actuarial mathematics and modelling, asset-liability management and performance measurement for pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds, risk management and solvency, and risk theory.
- In addition to teaching, we have a Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
- We have a dedicated social and study space for Maths students in the department, which is situated in the new £18m STEM Centre
- We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
- Our students run a lively Actuarial Science Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students
As a new course, we expect our graduates of BSc Actuarial Science to become actuaries in a range of industries. It is predicted by the US Department of Labor that the employment of actuaries is expected to grow faster than any other occupation, making it a great prospect for a graduate job.
Aside from a rewarding career as an actuary, clear thinkers are required in every profession, so the successful mathematician has an extensive choice of potential careers. The Council for Mathematical Sciences offers further information on careers in mathematics.
We also work with our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- 89% of our maths students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).
- We are continually broadening the array of expertise in our department, giving you a wide range of options and letting you tailor your degree to your interests.
- You have access to our excellent dedicated computing facilities that provide real-world experience.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching mainly takes the form of lectures – you study roughly two 50-minute lectures and one 50-minute class per week, per module
- Take a mathematics careers and employability module, where you compile a portfolio of skills and experience
- Your final mark is a weighted combination of marks gained on coursework (eg homework problem sheets or tests) and your summer examinations
- Your first year of study does not count towards your final degree class
- Third-year students have the opportunity to complete a full-year or one-term project